Executive Mayor


Athol was born in 1964 in Bedford in the Eastern Cape. He was the fifth generation born on the family farm, Mount Prospect. He attended school at Woodridge College in Port Elizabeth and matriculated in 1981. He held various leadership positions in the school and on the sports fields.

Athol then studied Agricultural management at The University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, where after he travelled abroad working as a learner farmer in Australia, New Zealand and Scotland.

He served his local community on a number of committees and was awarded honorary life membership of the Bedford Farmers Association and Bedford club.

He served on the Regional Soil Conservation Committee and was an Executive Member of the Eastern Cape Agricultural Union.

Athol comes from a politically active family. His grandfather was a Member of Parliament for the United Party. His father was a candidate for the Provincial Council for the PFP and he served on the Smaldeel District Council.

Athol was first elected as a public representative in 1995 and served as an Executive Member of the Amathole district municipality. He was then elected to the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature in 1999 and served two terms there until 2009.

In 2009 he was elected to the National Assembly and subsequently elected as the Leader of the Official Opposition until 2012.  Athol then returned to the Legislature in the Eastern Cape and was elected to his third term as Leader of the Official Opposition in the Legislature in 2014.

Click here to view the Inaugural speech - 18 August 2016

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